About Us: The Institute for Study Abroad, Butler University
Ash Cloud Restricts Air Travel to Australia

Airports in Bali have experienced extensive closures and delays due to winds blowing volcanic ash clouds into incoming and outgoing flight paths. Major Australian carriers have canceled flights, preventing several IFSA-Butler students from returning to Australia from their vacation to Bali.

Many students will have exams starting next week, so our student services coordinators in Australia have contacted the students with instructions for how to complete a special consideration application should they miss their examinations due to travel issues.

If you have any questions or concerns about this incident, please do not hesitate to contact Director of Health, Safety and Security Eryn Espín-Kudzinski.

Hurricane Patricia Update

Hurricane Patricia, one of the strongest recorded hurricanes in history, is expected to hit landfall in Mexico this weekend, bringing winds near 200 miles per hour and catastrophic amounts of rain.

Although all of Mexico will likely experience heavy rain because of the hurricane, Patricia is projected to hit on the southwest coast of Mexico around Puerta Vallarta. IFSA-Butler's program location in the state of Yucatán is on the opposite side of Mexico and therefore is not expected to experience any serious damage from Patricia. IFSA-Butler's resident director in Mexico, Diana Arízaga, will keep students and their host families updated on any emergency recommendations related to the rain.

For more information, we recommend the following news sources:

Bomb Threat at Victoria University of Wellington

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Victoria University of Wellington received a bomb threat this morning around 9:00 a.m. local time and immediately evacuated the Easterfield Building and Murphy Building. IFSA-Butler students were notified right away to avoid campus until further notice. After several hours of searching by police, the bomb threat was determined to be a hoax. Many university classes have been cancelled for the day.

This is separate from the anonymous online threat of a mass shooting at the University of Otago. So far, the University of Otago campus has been quiet yet with increased security presence. It is not known at this time if the two incidents are related.

These events are not common in New Zealand. Initial reports from authorities believe that these threats are likely "copycat" threats stemming from recent events on college campuses in the United States.

IFSA-Butler resident staff will continue to update students both at the University of Otago and Victoria University of Wellington as the day progresses. Students have been reminded about safety precautions on campus, and they have also been directed to adhere to safety instructions provided by both universities. Should students have any questions or concerns, they can contact our resident staff on the 24/7 emergency phone line.

Please see the following links for more information about this situation:

New Zealand Police Investigating Campus Threat

Tuesday October 6, 2015

New Zealand police are investigating an anonymous online threat of a mass shooting at the University of Otago campus on Wednesday. While the threat is considered unsubstantiated, the University of Otago is taking this threat very seriously. Classes will run as normal on Wednesday, but students can expect extra police and campus security on site. 

IFSA-Butler's Student Services Coordinator has contacted all IFSA-Butler Otago students through their Facebook group so that they are all aware of the threat, and they have been advised to follow all University of Otago safety instructions. During program orientation, IFSA-Butler staff review how to remain safe while a student on the program as well as how to access emergency services, should they be needed. In addition, IFSA-Butler staff are on call, and students are encouraged to contact the SSC if they have any issues or concerns.

For more information about this situation, please see the following news coverage:

Students, parents and advisors may also contact Eryn Espín-Kudzinski, Director of Health, Safety and Security, with questions or concerns.

Security Threat for University of Edinburgh

Friday, October 2, 2015

Scotland authorities are investigating online comments claiming that the University of Edinburgh would face a shooting similar to the Oregon community college shooting on Thursday.

Police Scotland has launched an investigation into the threats, but IFSA-Butler has been assured that there is no evidence that this posting is credible. Both the university's security team and Police Scotland have determined that the risk of such a shotting is low.

IFSA-Butler's Scotland staff have reached out to all current University of Edinburgh students to reassure them of the safety of Edinburgh. Students who do not feel comfortable travelling to the university for Friday classes have been encouraged to contact the IFSA-Butler Scotland office and to let their instructors know of their plans to avoid classes on Friday.

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